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US STOCKS-Futures trampled by oil shock, virus fears

Medha Singh

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* Futures down: Dow 4.87%, S&P 4.89%, Nasdaq 4.82% (Adds comments, details)

March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures plunged 5% on Monday to hit a daily trading limit, as global recession fears were amplified by a 25% slump in oil prices and the relentless march of the coronavirus across the United States and Europe.

The Dow Jones Industrials index was set to fall more than 1,300 points at the open as crude oil logged its worst day in almost three decades after a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Oil majors Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp tumbled about 15%. All 30 components of the blue-chip Dow were in the red.

"You will now have pain on oil producers and on investment, and you won't have an uptick in consumer spending because they aren't comfortable because of the virus concerns," said Simon MacAdam, global economist at Capital Economics.

"It's probably a net negative for the world economy that oil prices have fallen."

A dip in oil prices is generally considered positive for global growth, but concerns about the economic damage from the virus outbreak have sparked a worldwide sell-off that has erased about $3.5 trillion from the value of companies listed on the benchmark S&P 500.

The health crisis, which has now infected more than 110,000 people globally, has crippled supply chains and prompted cuts to global growth forecasts for 2020.

"Our baseline expectation is of a mild recession and this (the coronavirus and oil price crash) is a reality check, which is allowing investors to reassess the situation," said Bas van Geffen, quantitative analyst at Rabobank in Amsterdam.

Traders are now expecting the Federal Reserve to again cut interest rates next week after an emergency reduction on March 3.

The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury was on course for its biggest one-day fall in almost a decade, sending shares of rate-sensitive U.S. banks including Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co down between 9% and 12%.

Marathon Oil Corp, Devon Energy Corp, Apache Corp, Pioneer Natural Resources Co slipped between 25% and 34% and were some of the biggest losers among S&P 500 components.

At 7:59 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 1,255 points, or 4.87%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 145 points, or 4.89% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 410 points, or 4.82%.

The selling pressure overnight on futures set off a downward limit of 5% set by exchange operator CME Group. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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